Eddie O’Sullivan is taking nothing for granted against Romania
Irish coach Eddie O’Sullivan is taking nothing for granted ahead of Saturday’s opening international at Thomond Park.
Speaking in the UL Sports Centre after the team announcement, O’Sullivan explained that he sees the Romanian game as ideal preparation for the upcoming RWC qualifiers.
“Since the autumn Romania have won their last five games and I would say they’re a team that’s on the rise. This is an important game for them no more than it is for us, in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers. So I think they’ll be a team that will be very well organised and very motivated.”
” They topped the World Cup qualifier group that included Russia and Georgia, so it’ll be a good marker for us ahead our RWC qualifiers. I think they’ll be a very aggressive side, they’ll be very fired up. They’re always a big physical team, so with the games against Russia and Georgia particularly in mind, I believe it will be a good game for us in terms of their style of play and their strength.”
And O’Sullivan then outlined the difficulties of preparing for a match like this.
” Well, we haven’t played a game since New Zealand so there is the unknown territory if you like, of going out on the field in your first match and wanting to hit the ground running, getting the balance right, keeping the players fresh, getting organised. The main thing at the moment is to get our balance and preparation right, be well organised, highly motivated and still have enough fuel in the tank to perform to the level we expect of ourselves.”
He also pointed out another reason why it was important for this Ireland side to perform well.
“Well there is the crowd factor really. We’d expect a largely-Limerick crowd and we have to earn their respect. We have to show them we can play quality rugby at pace. If we don’t, they’re likely to turn and support the underdog. We certainly don’t want that.”